Everyone thinks their own party is the stupid party and the other one is the evil party.
1. Congress writes a maximum budget, and they have to finish it by IRS tax day, April 15th, because all income tax filers describe how they distribute their income taxes: which departments get how much. They pay the full amount. When all tax return distributions are tallied up, all department totals over the Congressional budget maximum are distributed equally to voters in the next national election. If any department doesn't get their maximum, tough; no transfers from the overflowing departments. It gives taxpayers a real say in the budget process and encourages voting.
2. The House votes the budget total, the Senate distributes it among departments. Of course they will talk and make backroom deals. But their horse trading will be very informative to the public, and entertaining too.
3. When the budget exceeds revenue, each chamber votes how much to cut the deficit and the other chamber votes how to distribute it. The final votes for one or the other cannot modify the bills, only vote yea or nay.
Gerry was originally pronounced like Gary. The district resembled a salamander
The evil party/stupid party quote appears to have originated with M. Stanton Evans rather than Alan Simpson:
toward a theory of the size and shape of U.S. Congressional districts?? 🤔
Re districting, somebody somewhere proposed a hard rule of only straight district lines. Dramatically reduces degrees of freedom.
-"Stealing votes is easiest in a state dominated by a single party, the sort of place where the Republican poll watchers probably work for the Democrats or vice versa. With the electoral college system there is no point to stealing votes in such a state, since the dominant party is going to get all of its electoral votes anyway. With a straight majority vote system, on the other hand, each party has an incentive to steal all the votes it can wherever it can."
This logic doesn't make sense to me. Why should stealing votes be easier in a state dominated by a single party rather than in a city or region dominated by a single party? That is, why isn't it easier for Democrats to steal votes in Philadelphia and Austin (urban areas in a swing and Republican state, respectively) and for Republicans to steal votes in rural California or Ohio? The electoral college changes which votes are most important to steal (i.e. ones from swing states rather than all votes) but I don't see how it makes it any harder for them to steal those votes.
What about a proportional voting? If representation was proportional to votes then gerrymandering would have no impact. While it wouldn’t eliminate the stealing votes it would arguably decrease the marginal value of a stolen vote. Furthermore it would force more need to compromise to get anything passed as “third” parties would now be required to get majority vote in many cases.
> There remains the question, ignored in my first proposal, of how the cuts are to be made, what will be funded by how much. The House gets to allocate half of the cuts, then the President gets to allocate the other half. The House can, in other words, decide to give the defense department 100% of its current allocation or 50% but not 110% and similarly, mutatis mutandis, for the President.
It would probably be less controversial to make each group allocate a budget instead of cuts, so you don't get Republicans cutting something Democrats like (Medicare?) by 100% and then Democrats cutting something Republicans like. Although it does make the algorithm a lot more complicated since you'd need to handle repeatedly redistributing funding above 100% if both groups support it (like the military?).
Wow, this is terrible. For one, everyone's vote should count equally. Duh.
"The Republicans think the budget should be balanced."
WTF? What planet are you living on? The Democrats are the only ones who have cut the deficit. Promoting this lie about Republicans makes our country worse.
I played around with gerrymandering and district sizes, and came up with a different idea: elect the top three vote winners in each district, and each proxies however many votes they won in the election. In addition, every voter can drop a name in a volunteer box, and one is chosen at random; if they decline or are ineligible, choose another. This volunteer proxies all remaining votes. Even in colonial days, the extra work isn't all that complicated, and you can bet there'd be a lot of people checking the arithmetic. It encourages voting regardless of how large a majority one party has, makes it harder for pundits and politicians to control horse trading, and the volunteers make the two party system less predictable. One party states make it possible for that one party to field multiple candidates, but that also splits their vote and gives other parties a chance at being in the top three.
Another idea is to allow any border parcel owner to change to the neighboring district, possibly only if the neighboring district had fewer votes in the last election. But the 3+1 proxy scheme makes equal-sized districts less urgent.